Wolves Posts

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: Track the Pack

April 11th, 2014

Check out the USFWS red wolf recovery program Blog. 

There’s lots of great information – you can even learn about us :).

 

 

 

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Early Morning Walk

March 27th, 2014

Lightning and I don’t always have enough time first thing in the morning to make the long walk out to Explore the Wild, but when we do, it’s always worth the trek.

Lightning and I walk on a service path behind the train tracks and meet the moss cattle and deer that inhabit the train pasture

Next, we walk down the paths in Explore the Wild and say, “Good Morning” to the wolves.

 

Then, we stop in at the Bear House and check on Jessi and Autumn…we might have stolen some of Jessi’s breakfast…

 

Lightning goes for a walk every day, as do most of our farmyard animals. Even the pigs and Max! So next time you’re here, if you come by the farmyard and don’t see your favorite furry (or feathered) critter it’s probably a good thing, they’re likely out enjoying the sunshine in the company of a keeper.

Join the conversation:

  1. Love it!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. This could be the start of a good children’s book–”A Donkey’s Day”…Lightning certainly gets into mischief (stealing radios, snitching food…)

    Posted by CVdB
  3. I had no idea the animals went for regular walks…thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Libby
  4. Keeper Comment :

    Absolutely, Libby!

    Walks are an important way for animals to get exercise, explore new places, sights and sounds, and to spend some time bonding with their keepers.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Snow Pictures 2014

February 22nd, 2014

More snow pictures of the most recent storm to hit NC.

 

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  1. nothing like a goat in a coat.

    Posted by sherry

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas 2013

December 25th, 2013

thanks for the sweet potatoes Donna

Twas the night before Christmas and left at my house, a bag of sweet potatoes for the Museum Bears.  (If I were Sarah, I am sure I could have come up with some great rhyme… in fact she probably could write my entire Christmas post to the Poem Twas the night before Christmas- check out her previous poems here and here).

The day started with me very very tired, and unable to find my glasses. I’ve got about 10-15 pillows on my bed and even removing all of them still no glasses. I gave up, found my spare glasses, made a cup of coffee, and made my way to the Museum around 5:15

Here’s the rundown for the day so far:

I move all the logbooks in one space and check out my “to do” lists, and in a room that has light not on a timer so I can see easier.

 

 

Katy has set up the supplies I need for treatments, and Jill has left a note for Donald (click on the note to enlarge it if you want to read it).

all the syringes and bowls and medicines lined up so I can work more efficiently. (Thanks Katy)

Jill’s note to Donald. The last part is my favorite as I have lived through this happening and it is not a pretty sight.

the muskrat had gathered all this food in the 5-10 minutes or so it took me to get my camera and come back

Yesterday, we solved the mystery as to why the waterfall at wolves was not running, so I was able to cross that off my list. (The wolves- I assume the male wolf – ate the electrical wires. That will have to be a separate post at a later date). Concerns about the muskrat were top priority so I donned my headlamp to go check him out. I couldn’t really see him, but did see that he had eaten overnight so I sigh of relief for now.

I fumble around- not getting into any sort of groove.  I put all the diets on the kitchen counter to help me make a plan of attack. My plan of attack is quite chaotic. I start something, realize I can’t see too well in the dark, re group, start something else…things go on like this for a while and before I know it I’ve been here 90 minutes.

Katy warned me that the ferrets would be difficult to keep in their exhibit and would rush the door upon closing. I felt confident in my plan however: I knocked on their door to wake them up (wanting them to use the litter pans before cleaning). Came back in five minutes with a CRATE and put all four inside:

Katy said to put them all in the yellow ring (below) upon leaving and that gives you enough time to close the door.  However, what really gives you enough time to close the door is spilling furotone (oil supplement) on each ferret so that everyone is licking everyone else and not even concerned about the door!

 

It’s light enough so I go make sure I can see the remaining animals. Franklin is busy eating his food and everyone else seems fine.

Franklin eating his lettuce

Donald and his granddaughter Caroline arrive a few minutes before 8AM. Caroline looks tired (I feel her pain), but Donald gets her to pose for the camera. I’ve never seen Donald not smile. It’s really amazing if you think about it. We review the plan for the Farmyard, get Caroline some gloves, and head outside.

Donald reading the note from Jill.

 

 

It takes a little effort to get our vehicles started, but we prevail. I was so hot working inside that I forgot it was just over 30 degrees outside and my drive is more than quite chilly.

I drive through the Farmyard to check on the critters, and then move on to the Explore the Wild Critters.

The alpacas seem fine on this chilly morning

male on the bottom and female towards the top of the den.

I take a bit of a skid through the icy patch at the MIST entrance in Catch the Wind. I hit wolves first. Both the wolves are waiting at the den area. No issues at all here. Everything is fine so move quickly to the bear exhibit.

Mimi, as expected, is sleeping in the house. I wake her, she huffs at me, I feel badly, she huffs at me again, I toss out food, she goes and eats. Gus is snoozing in the cave (sorry about the bad photo): he lifts his head and then puts it back down.

Gus in the den

Lemurs is the next stop. Absolutely no problems here- it’s actually a bit confusing. No one yelled at me, no one peed on me. I did not step in anything I didn’t want to. I did not dump my poop bucket. No lemur exited their stall. I think this is a first on Christmas to not have even one small problem occur. (Although as I type I realize I left the dustpan in the disinfectant can… I’ll have to remember to get that tonight.

The last stop is the bear cliff to check things out and give Yona her meds. I thought this would be a bit difficult, but Virginia has made her way down into the yard, so Yona just needs to stretch, stare at me for a minute or two, and then wander over to me at the fence.

I was even prepared: I had no yogurt cup but grabbed an extra bowl from lemurs to give Yona her meds in.

Yona was easy: “blueberry preserves” worked really well.

I head back to the Farmyard, deal with the raptors, and then head to the building. Dishes goes much better than last year (I just did not wear my glasses).

It’s possibly been one of the easiest Christmas’ I’ve worked – and I’ve worked every Christmas since 1993! I know the afternoon is still coming, but so far, so good. Merry Christmas everyone.

(Click here to read about some of my past Christmas’ at the Museum).

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    ‘Twas the morning of Christmas, and left on her porch, a bag of potatoes from Donna next door!

    The bears won’t be hungry this Christmas day; not that they’ll eat them again until May.

    The day started rough with glasses amiss, pillows were tossed, the room searched forthwith!

    Resigning their fate to the bedroom elves, spare glasses were acquired and some coffee was quelled.

    The morning began a mile away in the dark and quiet of the museum’s early day.

    Logbooks were stacked to be ordered and checked as the morning went on, there’s no going back to bed!

    Treatments were finished, notes were read. “Don’t let the pigs find the pumpkins!” Jill’s note to Donald said.

    In Explore the Wild, a present was left. “A gift from the wolves” the unwanted tag read. A gasket was shredded, the pumps’ plug was chewed off. “We’re saving you energy! A gift you didn’t think of!”

    As the morning wound down, all the animals were checked. Nothing went horribly wrong this year, how ’bout that?

    So thankful we are for this day of the year, when our boss comes in so we can stay here.

    “Here” might be close or miles away, but it matters greatly to us to be home Christmas Day.

    This year went well, and with a new one in sight,
    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  2. Sarah for the win!

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Caterpillars part 2

December 7th, 2013

In my Caterpillars post, I talked about getting stung by one.  In this post, I will show you a couple of other caterpillars that I found in Explore the Wild.

Once I found one caterpillar, which was a saddleback, my eyes began to see all the other caterpillars that are out in the area.

This caterpillar (above) was on the climbing structure in the lemur yard.  I found it while I was putting the morning food out for the Ring-tailed lemurs.

This caterpillar (below) was on the water bowl in the wolf side cages.

Next time that you are outside, take a closer look at the plants or even different structures and you might see a caterpillar.

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Red Wolf links

November 13th, 2013

Becky Bartel of USFWS took this photo of our male, 1414

 

 

 

I’ve received a variety of information from USFWS  and RWC personnel in the past week or so about red wolves so I thought I would share with you. Click on any of the links below:

 

 

 

Becky Bartel’s photos of our wolves

A new post (about the Museum!) from the Blog of the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program

Washington Post article about red wolf  deaths from gunshot

RedWolf_QtrReport_FY13-04 (2)

 

 

 

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Caterpillars

November 8th, 2013

Did you know that you can be stung by caterpillars?

I was surprised when I got stung by one on the wolf cliff in Explore the Wild.  I didn’t know that it was a caterpillar at first but after describing what it felt like to the other keepers, they said it had to have been a caterpillar.  At that point, I was on a mission to find out what exactly stung me.  I needed to have a plan to properly complete my mission so that I could educate myself, other keepers and museum visitors.

First, I needed to remember where on the wolf cliff that I got stung.  Second, I needed to have a camera on me at all times to capture the creature.  Not a very complex plan but it turned out to be harder than I thought.  Could it have been a sting and run?

After about two weeks, I finally found the creature.  On a small plant, on top of the wolf cliff I found the caterpillar.

 

Any ideas on what kind of caterpillar?

Seeing caterpillars is not new here at the museum.  Keeper Sarah and Ranger Greg have made post on these interesting creatures.  In my next post, I will show you other caterpillars I have encountered while out in Explore the Wild.

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Think it may be a Saddleback Caterpillar.

    Posted by Hans
  2. Yes, that is definitely a Saddleback. I’ve been stung more times than I can remember. Unfortunately, it’s not picky about its food plant and can be found almost anywhere. It turns into a small brown moth.

    Posted by Richard
  3. Keeper Comment :

    Richard, thanks for the information. I was very curious on what exactly stung me.

    Posted by Jessi Culbertson

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Second Red Wolf shot

November 1st, 2013

more bad news for the red wolves… a wolf was shot last week and now a second one this week. Here’s the link to previous information and a copy of today’s news release is below that.

http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news/2013/078.html

 

November 1, 2013

*Reward Offered for Information Regarding to a Second Red Wolf Death*

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a radio-collared red wolf that was recently found dead.  The federally protected wolf was found with a suspected gunshot wound on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, south of Roper and west of Lake Phelps in Washington County, North Carolina.

This is the second wolf found dead this week.

Anyone with information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of this red wolf may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500.

A total of 10 red wolves have died since January 1, 2013.  Of those 10, three were struck and killed by vehicles, one died as a result of non-management related actions, and six were confirmed or suspected gunshot deaths.

The red wolf is protected under The Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a red wolf are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine per individual.  Anyone with information on the death of this red wolf or any others, past or future, is urged to contact Resident Agent in Charge John Elofson at (404) 763-7959, Refuge Officer Frank Simms at (252) 216-7504, or North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at (252) 216-8225.

BACKGROUND:

The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids.  Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations have been decimated due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat.  A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.  After being declared an endangered species in 1967, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible.  Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful zoo-based breeding program.  Consequently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.

The first litter of red wolves born in captivity occurred in 1977.  By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina.  Since then, the experimental population area has expanded to include three national wildlife refuges, a Department of Defense bombing range, state-owned lands, and private property, spanning a total of 1.7 million acres.

About 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in five northeastern North Carolina counties.   Additionally, nearly 200 red wolves comprise the Species Survival Plan managed breeding program in sites across the United States, still an essential element of red wolf recovery.

The red wolf is one of two species of wolves in North America, the other being the gray wolf, (*Canis* *lupus*).  As their name suggests, red wolves are known for the characteristic reddish color of their fur most apparent behind the ears and along the neck and legs, but are mostly brown and buff colored with some black along their backs.  Intermediate in size to gray wolves and coyotes, the average adult red wolf weighs 45-80 pounds, stands about 26 inches at the shoulder and is about 4 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.

Red wolves are social animals that live in packs consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring of different years, typically five to eight animals.  Red wolves prey on a variety of wild mammals such as raccoon, rabbit, white-tailed deer, nutria, and other rodents.  Most active at dusk and dawn, red wolves are elusive and generally avoid humans and human activity.

To learn more about red wolves and the Service’s efforts to recover them, please visit www.fws.gov/redwolf<http://www.fws.gov/redwolf>.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Red Wolf Recovery Program

P. O. Box 1969

Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: David Rabon, 252-473-1132

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Prosecute to the fullest when they are found

    Posted by Theresa Smith
  2. Stop!

    Posted by Hilarie
  3. How very sad to see how many are lost to gun-shot :( Responsible hunters are absolutely sure of their targets. Irresponsible hunters should have their guns confiscated.

    Posted by Carrie
  4. and two more red wolves shot:
    November 15, 2013

    *Federal Officials Request Assistance Regarding Two More Red Wolves Missing or Dead*

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of two more radio-collared red wolves in two separate locations south of Columbia, in
    Tyrrell County, North Carolina. One federally protected wolf’s body was found with an apparent gunshot wound on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. In a separate location in the same county on the same day, a red wolf radio collar was discovered with evidence that it had been cut off.

    Anyone with information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of a red wolf may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500

    Posted by sherry

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Wolf on the table

October 18th, 2013

October is wolf physical month. This is the one time of year we get our hands on the wolves and check them out. We were particularly looking forward to getting the male, 1414, on the table. He is huge (almost 80 pounds) and he came to us with a growth on the side of his body that we wanted to look at and remove.

Since 1414 arrived in November 2012, this was our first experience with him for a physical. We learned he is a great patient once he gets on the table. However, he did not “go to sleep” on the same timeline that other wolves have when given their pre-sedation medicine. Typically, while in the crate, we inject some medicine to make the wolves go to sleep. 10-20 minutes later, we can safely muzzle them and move them to the treatment table and do all we need to do.

1414 took over 70 minutes to get somewhat sleepy. Long story short, we finally got him to the table. He is so big he basically filled up the table.

Dr. Vanderford checks out his ears.

Basically, he was in great shape except for the growth on the side of his body. Dr. Vanderford was able to remove it, although it took awhile. The wolf  will spend a few days in a holding cage to limit his movement, but all seems to be okay.

We’ll catch the female up another day and do her physical so we should have more photos to show you soon.

look closely by Jessi and you can see a shaved section on the wolf and the mass is right there.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Thank you for the behind the scenes look at how veterinary care for these guys is done. Great work!

    Posted by JesstheLVT
  2. Thank you so much for sharing your blog with us! Even as a technician student, I know the job market for a CVT wanting to do something like this is very competitive! It’s at least nice to see how it’s done even if the chance I’d get to work with them myself is slim to none:)

    Posted by Light

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

Wolf Awareness Week, October 13th-19th of 2013

October 10th, 2013

As in years passed, the museum is gearing up for Wolf Awareness Week. At 2pm starting October 13th,there is a Keeper talk located at wolf overlook all week long.

This year, our local  chapter of the  AAZK will be at wolf overlook on Saturday and Sunday to help guests make enrichment for our own red wolves.

Those days are Sunday, the 13th of October 1pm-4pm and Saturday the 19th of October 12pm-3pm.

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